The Regional Committee, comprising health ministers from 46 Member States, is the Governing Body of WHO in the African Region. Its purpose is to set policy and approve the budget and programme of the work of WHO in the Region. This year’s session will discuss a report on the work of WHO in the African Region during the 2008 – 2009 biennium, to be presented by the Regional Director, Dr Luis Sambo. The report will highlight successes achieved and challenges faced by WHO in its quest to help improve health outcomes in the Region.
Among health and health-related issues which will dominate this year’s session are multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis; the harmful use of alcohol; cancer of the cervix; the use of e-Health solutions in the African Region; recurrent epidemics and emergency preparedness and response; the implication of the global financial crisis for the health sector in the African Region and a proposal by Dr Sambo for the establishment of an African public health emergency fund.
Others are the current status of routine immunization and polio eradication; improving health service delivery at district level; the WHO 2012 – 2013 Programme Budget and a report on substandard, or counterfeit medical products. On the sidelines of the meeting, delegates will hold panel discussions focusing on universal access to Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care.
The five-day meeting will be attended by more than 500 participants. Among these are senior WHO officials including the Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Luis Sambo, and representatives of United Nations Agencies, Funds, Programmes as well as a number of bilateral, multilateral, Inter-Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations